Vinales fires to take MotoGP™ pole

Maverick Vinales in Parc Ferme after claiming pole position at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019

Maverick Vinales has maintained his stellar form in qualifying at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, taking pole for Sunday’s Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019.

The Spaniard, who won the Australian race a year ago, took the ninth MotoGP™ pole position of his career with a time of 1:28.492.

Vinales led a 1-2 for Yamaha, with Fabio Quartararo taking second on his Petronas SRT machine. The Frenchman had to do it the hard way, by coming through the first qualifying session, after losing track time in the practice sessions because of a crash on Friday.

The worrying thing for Quartararo is that he is 0.551 seconds behind Vinales, who rates the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as one of his favourites.

World champion Marc Marquez is positioned in third with a time of 1:29.216 on his Repsol Honda.

The big surprise of the rescheduled morning session was the speed of Valentino Rossi. In his unprecedented 400th Grand Prix start across all classes, Rossi with start from fourth place on his Monster Energy Yamaha. 

Danilo Petrucci was the fastest of the Ducati riders in fifth ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, the 2016 race winner. 

Aprilia also had a great session, with seventh and eighth for Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone, respectively.

Jack Miller will start from ninth with a different look for race day. The Townsville rider is carrying a one-off change of livery on his Pramac Ducati GP20, and will be looking for a strong start to run with the leaders early in the race.

Sunday’s MotoGP™ action continues with the 23-lap Australian Grand Prix scheduled to begin at 3:00pm AEDT.

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